Frugal Tuesdays: Black Bean Soup & Freezer Enchiladas

Saving money is hard.

See, Eric and I have always been budget people. We’re totally those people who pay with cash at the grocery store while you impatiently tap your credit card on your cart behind us. Paying with cash has really helped us stay within the confines of a limited budget these last few years as we’ve gone back to school, interned, and transitioned careers….plus chipped away at our enormous school debt like a woodpecker on a redwood.

And now things are about to get even more interesting. Once Owen came along, I resigned from my teaching job, so we are now officially a one-income family. The hardest part of a limited budget for me has always been food purchases…I mean, we cook a lot at home, which automatically helps us save, but I am one to be drawn in by the siren song of an expensive cheese while wandering the aisles of the grocery store, and suddenly, I’m creating a meal idea in my head around that instead of something a bit more economical…like beans.

So, without further ado, I present to you…Frugal Tuesdays…an ongoing series about how to eat cheap AND seasonally. One of the beautiful things about seasonal eating is that in-season produce is generally cheap…especially when you buy at farmers markets. But sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how to craft frugal meals around those in-season items.

Each Tuesday (or, let’s be honest, most Tuesdays) I’ll link to a recipe or two that is seasonal and frugal…because we can all use ideas for inexpensive meals.

First up…Black Bean Soup from Cheap Recipe Blog.

We tried this soup last week – full of flavor! All of the veggies are in season right now, and we even threw in a chopped bell pepper because they are fresh, and you should be eating three a day at this point. Plus, you can freeze the remaining chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, flat, in a ziplock, and break off what you need the next time, so no waste there! (P.S. I LOVE this blog…great recipes, great photography, and truly cheap ideas!)

Our second frugal recipe of the week also has a Mexican flare…
Freezer Chicken Enchiladas from the blog Oven Love.

freezer-chicken-enchiladas Once again, for this recipe, all the veggies are in season, it uses a lot of cans, and I got the chicken and cheese on sale. What I liked about this recipe, beyond the fact that it was cheesy Mexican goodness in my mouth, is that you can make two 8×8 pans of it at once, freezing one for later…always great to have frozen meals on hand to keep you from ordering that pricey pizza!

What are YOU cooking these days that is frugal and seasonal?
Would love some more ideas in the comments! 

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11 thoughts on “Frugal Tuesdays: Black Bean Soup & Freezer Enchiladas

  1. I love this new idea of frugal Tuesday’s! Currently, we’ve been creative with dinner ideas that use the stewed tomatoes I cooked up last week. My hubby made lasagna with the stewed tomato mixture, along with the kale we grew in our garden. Then last night the hubby cooked some red rice and then threw in some more stewed tomatoes, lots of onions and some browned hamburger…..kinda like a thick rice soup. We love making cheap meals!

  2. Hi Liz!

    My friend+roomie of yore Shannon R. introduced me to your blog, and I love it! I’m married to a law student and can comely understand the change to having one income. I’m always, always on the prowl for budget-friendly recipes that are in season (and delicious of course), so I was excited to see your postings! I think we are kindred kitchen spirits :-)

    Anywhoo, congrats again on the birth of your beautiful baby boy and keep up the great writing/cooking!


    • Hi, Erin! I’ll have to give Shannon a high five for pimping the blog. Thanks for reading & commenting! We’re always looking for cheap recipes too, so any you have to link to, we’d love to hear about!

      • Shannon is all over it, believe me! And I’ll pass along the high five, plus add a fist pound just because they are fun.

        For more budget recipe ideas, I post some of my favorites at the site below. Overall with cooking, I try go for healthy, seasonal, budget, and yummy (of course!), so choose what looks tasty to you. The recipe index has a full list.

        Some of our go-to main dishes:
        -Thai Peanut Stir Fry
        -Tilapia Burgers
        -Chicken Enchiladas

        Some that are fun for fall:
        -Apple Bread (easy and addictive breakfast/snack)
        -Apple mushroom sauté (yummy autumn side)
        -Pumpkin cinnamon rolls (weekend breakfast treat)

        You’ll have to let me know if any strike your fancy, and I”ll keep checking your posts too. Cheers and Happy October!

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